The two New Jersey House seats most clearly in play next year are the two that have been held by the Republicans for the longest period of time: Democrats have not won the seat now held by Jim Saxton for 126 years, and Mike Ferguson’s district has not elected a Democrat since 1954.
District 1: Rob Andrews’ seat hasn’t been held the by GOP since 1974, when four-term John Hunt lost to Jim Florio. Andrews replaced Florio after the 1989 gubernatorial election.
(For extreme political junkies: Andrews actually holds the seat once filled (from 1939 to 1959 by Robert Kean, an Essex County Republican and the grandfather of Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. After congressional redistricting in 1966, he Kean seat – then held by Democrat Paul Krebs – was moved to South Jersey to reflect state population shifts. That new district, won by Hunt, was in addition to a Camden County House seat held since 1958 by Republican William Cahill. When Cahill became Governor, he was replaced by a Burlington County Republican, Edwin Forsythe. When Forsythe died in 1984, he was replaced by Saxton.)
District 2: Republican Frank LoBiondo won the seat when Democrat William Hughes retired in 1994.
District 3: Republicans have held Jim Saxton’s House seat continuously since 1884, when George Hires, a GOP State Senator from Salem County, ousted one-term Democratic Congressman Thomas Ferrell by 1,742 votes.
District 4: Republican Christopher Smith upset 13-term Democratic Congressman Frank Thompson in 1980.
District 5: Democrats last held the seat in 1980, when Andrew Maguire lost to Marge Roukema.
District 6: Democrats have held the Monmouth County-based House seat since 1964, when James Auchincloss retired and Democrat James Howard beat Republican Marcus Daly for the open seat.
District 7: The last Democratic Congressman was Harrison Williams, who lost his 1956 re-election bid to Florence Dwyer, then a GOP Assemblywoman.
District 8: Democrat Bill Pascrell was elected in 1996 in a close race with one-term GOP Congressman Bill Martini.
District 9: The district has been Democratic since 1982, when Robert Torricelli unseated Harold Hollenbeck.
District 10: Democrats have held the Newark-based House seat since 1948, when Peter Rodino won the open seat of ten-term Republican Fred Hartley, famous for his sponsorship of the Taft-Hartley Act.
District 11: In 1984, Republican Dean Gallo, then the Assembly Minority Leader, unseated 11-term Democrat Joseph Minish. Gallo was succeeded by Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen in 1994.
District 12: Democrat Rush Holt defeated freshman Republican Michael Pappas in 1998.
District 13: Democrat Albio Sires holds the seat of Domenick Daniels, a Jersey City Democrat who served from 1959 to 1977. The last Republican to hold the Hudson County-based House seat was Vincent Dellay, who road Dwight Eisenhower’s coattails to a stunning victory in 1956. Dellay was a one-termer; hoping to keep his seat, he switched parties in 1957, but the Hudson County Democratic Organization replaced him with Daniels.